A Muppet Family Christmas

A Muppet Family Christmas
A Muppet Family Christmas
Genre Family film
Creator Henson Associates
Directed by Peter Harris
Eric Till
Produced by Jim Henson (executive)
Martin G. Baker
Diana Birkenfield
Written by Jerry Juhl
Starring Gerard Parkes
Muppet Performers:
Dave Goelz
Jim Henson
Richard Hunt
Kathryn Mullen
Jerry Nelson
Frank Oz
Karen Prell
David Rudman
Caroll Spinney
Steve Whitmire
Music by Erik Robertson
Editing by Gordon Stoddard
Country USA
Original channel ABC
Release date December 16, 1987 (1987-12-16)
Running time 42 minutes

A Muppet Family Christmas is a 1987 Christmas television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets.

This is one of the very few Muppet productions to feature Muppets associated with all four of the major Muppet franchises: The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and Muppet Babies (who are seen as actual puppets here instead of cartoon counterparts). This special also features an onscreen guest cameo by Jim Henson; he can be seen in the kitchen doing dishes towards the end of the movie. In addition the United Kingdom broadcast marked the first appearance of Doc on British television, as the UK version of Fraggle Rock featured new "Outer Space" segments, in which Sprocket's owner was a lighthouse keeper.

Because of the music rights being secured only for television, recent video releases of the special (at least on NTSC releases in the United States and Canada) leave out two musical numbers and at least four other scenes (see the alternate versions section of the Internet Movie Database link below for details, or an even more extensive list on Muppet Wiki found below as well). The exclusions have little effect on the plot, but many fans miss the material, and several of the edits are noticeably abrupt. However, PAL releases in countries like the United Kingdom and Germany keep almost every scene and musical number intact, mostly because US copyright laws do not apply in those countries. Also, a source in Canada is selling a two disc DVD that has both the 2001 broadcast of the special and the original 1987 special. It is available for importing to the United States.[citation needed]

TV Guide ranked the special number 8 on its 10 Best Family Holiday Specials list.[1]



The plot involves Jerome "Doc" Crystal and his dog Sprocket (from Fraggle Rock) escaping life on the seashore to spend Christmas in the forest. The country house he chooses to stay at happens to be owned and operated by Fozzie Bear's mother, who is renting the house to Doc because she is going to Malibu for Christmas. When Fozzie comes home for Christmas—bringing all his Muppet friends with him—everyone gets snowed in and chaos, hilarity and sentiment normally associated with The Muppet Show ensues.


Muppet Performers

  • Dave Goelz - The Great Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Boober Fraggle, Zoot, Beauregard
  • Jim Henson - Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Swedish Chef, Waldorf, Ernie, Guy Smiley, The Newsman, Penguin
  • Richard Hunt - Scooter, Janice, Statler, Beaker, Gladys the Cow, Two-Headed Monster (Right Head), Snowman
  • Kathryn Mullen - Mokey Fraggle
  • Jerry Nelson - Emily 'Ma' Bear, Robin the Frog, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Count von Count, Herry Monster, Two-Headed Monster (Left Head), Gobo Fraggle, Camilla the Chicken
  • Frank Oz - Fozzie Bear, Animal, Miss Piggy, Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster, Sam the Eagle
  • Karen Prell - Red Fraggle, Maureen the Mink
  • David Rudman - Miss Piggy's Photographer
  • Caroll Spinney - Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch
  • Steve Whitmire - Christmas Turkey, Rizzo the Rat, Wembley Fraggle, Sprocket the Dog, Lips

Scenes omitted in North American DVD and VHS release


  • At the beginning, in wide shots of Fozzie's truck, Rizzo can be seen sitting next to Lips near the side of the truck, but in one shot he is with the other rats in a different part of the truck.
  • When Fozzie first enters the house, he does not slip on the icy patch, as if it were not there; the second time he enters, after the "Sleigh Ride" number, he does slip.
  • During the scene where the Muppets enter the house, a puppeteer's full face is exposed on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
  • Before the second time Kermit answers the phone, he can be seen holding the phone receiver right before it rings.
  • Biff and Sully change locations throughout the song "Deck the Halls".
  • Louis Kazagger can be seen sitting near the tree during Emily Bear's announcement, but during the caroling medley, as the screen scrolls past that area, he is no longer there.
  • Gonzo and Animal are both shown wearing pajamas while hanging from hangers, but then as the caroling medley begins, Gonzo wears a purple suit and is with the other Muppets.
  • Beaker does not appear during the first half of the caroling medley. He then suddenly appears when he and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew sing a verse, and he is missing again in the last shot of the medley.
  • During the carol sing there are two rooms full of Muppets, but some Muppets appear in both rooms at the same time. These characters include Statler and Waldorf, Simon Soundman, The Christmas Turkey, Sam the Eagle, Cookie Monster and a female lavender Anything Muppet.
  • During a fade right before the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the carol sing, the puppeteer that performs Camilla the Chicken and the Turkey drops both puppets too early.
  • During the end, Sprocket appeared in the back of the living room with the Muppets, but also appeared with Jim Henson in the kitchen.
  • In most wide shots during the caroling medley, Janice can be seen sitting near a stairway at the end of the room, but there are a few shots where she is next to Floyd Pepper, who is always behind the couch during that sequence.
  • This was released after Fraggle Rock ended its syndication, so why didn't Doc remember he'd already met the Fraggles?
  • When the Turkey directs The Swedish Chef to Big Bird ("If you think I'm a nice fat bird... LOOK AT THIS!"), a puppeteer's head briefly pops up.
  • Gobo is the first Fraggle to ask "What's a frog?" upon meeting Kermit and Robin, but he was given a frog for his birthday in "Space Frog Follies."[3]
  • Gobo is the only Fraggle not mentioned among the Fraggle Pebble recipients.
  • Continutity Error: The Fraggles act like they don't know what Christmas is, although they had Christmas in "The Bells of Fraggle Rock."


  1. ^ TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes and Noble. 2004. pp. 574. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1. 
  2. ^ Muppet Central Collectibles FAQ
  3. ^ Muppet Wiki - A Muppet Family Christmas

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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